A new base has been established for Stockton-on-Tees Sea Cadets after a £460,000 refurbishment took place on the old Hadrian Caravan building in Thornaby Place.
It was officially opened by Captain Philip Russell RN, Captain Sea Cadets, when he unveiled a plaque at the official launch of the facility yesterday, Thursday, 2 February.
The riverside building has been completely transformed into a bright and modern two-storey facility. The fully-accessible building offers a ground floor wet room, a fully equipped catering galley and a lift to improve disabled access, as well as new décor and furnishings throughout.
An adjoining annexe has also been refurbished to high standards with new changing rooms and showers for cadets and staff, a galley fitted with high quality appliances, and a disabled access ramp. Both buildings have also been installed with central heating.
The cadets had been based in The Cadet Centre on Martinet Road since the dismantling of HMS Kellington but the site proved inadequate and the cadets did not have any river access. The new ‘home’ for ‘TS Kellington SCC’ is adjacent to the river and the Tees Motor Boat Club, who have kindly agreed access to their slipway for cadets and staff to use for waterborne activities.
The building has now being called ‘Apedaile House’ in recognition of President of Stockton-on-Tees Sea Cadets, Alderman Lynne Apedaile, who has spent two years on the project finding funding for the purchase and refurbishment of the new premises. Lynne said, “I am incredibly honoured that the cadets, staff and volunteers have decided to do this for me and are extremely proud that we have finally reached the point of opening the new facility. The cadets, unit management team and staff, led by Chairman Mr Lindsay Eccles, have all worked incredibly hard to get this far, after near closure three years or so ago. We are all delighted that so many foundations, trusts and businesses have supported us and that Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council also supported our application for a Community Covenant Grant at the start of the process. We couldn't have done it without all of the support we have received and we really would like to say a sincere thank you to everyone concerned. The new facility looks fantastic and will make a real difference to our cadets as well as other district Sea Cadet units who will all be able to access the facility for training and education experiences as well as fun activities too.
Stockton Sea Cadets hope to involved other groups and organisations in the future and are delighted that the local branch of the Royal British Legion have asked for an office in the building as a base to continue their excellent welfare work with serving forces personnel and ex-service veterans.”
The Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Ken Dixon, was among the guests who attended the official launch. He said: “It was a pleasure to attend the official opening of the Stockton-on-Tees Sea Cadets’ new base. These new and improved facilities will make a fantastic base and further help to accommodate all the work the Sea Cadets do.”